I was recently at the gym the other week with something on my mind.

I was bothered. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something was stirring inside me.

I had a vision. I knew what I wanted to do and the importance of doing it, but I still couldn’t shake this fear that was coming up.

It was a mixture of excitement and terror!

Something you will hear me say a lot is this: you have to identify what the problem is before you can take action. This is the best way to have faster and more targeted results.

What was my fear?

I was afraid to Livestream. I didn’t believe I was afraid of being on camera. I felt fine doing video, and when the day arrived to do a FB Live for the first time, I felt confident and ready.

But when I pressed the play button to go Live, I was taken over by an overwhelming rush of anxiety.

My heart felt like it was in my throat, my voice cracked and trembled, and I became super distracted, losing my train of thought.

What the hell happened?! I thought. I was ready, I didn’t understand.

And slowly, I noticed an aversion to doing it again. Despite all the reasons for not having enough time to do it, I knew the truth — I DON’T WANT TO EXPERIENCE THAT AGAIN was likely the real reason.

I found myself watching women who would get on 2-3 times a day and just speak with confident ease. It was a breeze for them. I was not feeling anxious while imagining myself sharing something similar, but I was terrified of being struck by that jarring fear that seemed to arrive out of nowhere.

I sat contemplating at the gym.

I started thinking of myself as a young child. I was a bit of a dare devil without really trying. I was fearless and this often tested my mother’s tolerance –such as the time when I would do Death Drops from the monkey bars, or deal vitamins to my classmates in exchange for candy ( I came from a sugar-free household), or when I snuck my Barbie make-up to pre-school and smeared eye shadow and lipstick on my face and took it off before my mother picked me up. It wasn’t until after weeks of doing this, my teacher asked my mother if she really thought it was appropriate — my mother had no idea!

I did what I wanted despite fearing the consequences.

You could say I was a bit of a punk, but the truth is, I just didn’t take NO for an answer.

But as I traced that line of time from when I was a child through my teens and later, I recognized that something very distinct started to happen. I had become more introverted, shy, and cautious in contexts that use to not faze me.

Although I think there are gifts in being both an introvert and an extrovert, I wondered what changed to make that same girl grow timid.

The fear was learned.

That’s when something crossed my mind — THE FEAR IS NOT YOURS. And a glimmer of my mother passed my mind.

My mother and I are very close, I might even say she is my best friend. But we have very different personalities. She is very timid and cautious, and I often recall her telling me to be careful, watch out, think about it.

Of course, this was always with the best intention of protecting me, but it also taught me to re-think things, A LOT.

So I ask you this.

Do you have a distinct fear you are experiencing right now? Is it showing up as doubt, procrastination, avoidance, or a battle with someone? If there is something going on right now, just try to focus on what it is.

Start with these 3 questions:

What is the fear?

Mine was getting on FB Live and being struck with anxiety, despite thinking I was ready. But I also needed to go a little deeper. What was I really afraid of? I might say I was afraid of being attacked, making a mistake, being misunderstood, being judged. It’s good to get really specific.

How is it showing up? What are the thoughts and feelings?

Mine was an anxiousness and avoidance. I would forget or “not have enough time”. I would imagine the last time I did it and how awful it felt. I had no way to anticipate if that feeling would strike again.

Where does the fear come from?

This may not be obvious right away, but allow the answer to reveal itself. Sometimes we get fixated on the reason we think we have the fear but it can sometimes surprise us. Just ask the question and allow space.

I did another a FB Live AND without being struck with a the horrifying and uncontrollable anxiety I experienced the first few times.

So the next time you are experiencing fear. Ask yourself: Is this mine? Where did I learn this?

Catherine xx